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Joining the likes of Admiral T and Kaporal Maiky on the list of French urban artists with military ranks in their titles, Colonel Reyel became the leading authority figure thanks to a series of chart-topping releases. Born Rémy Ranguin in 1984 in Guadeloupe, but raised in Paris, he grew up in a musical family, with his father an amateur guitarist and his cousin Pédro Pirbakas later becoming reggae star Krys. Developing a love of hip-hop from an early age, he joined the Septentrional Crew in 2004, but following a visit to the West Indies, he adopted the name Colonel Reyel; announced that his mission was to serve Haile Selassie I, the returned messiah of the Bible according to the Rastafarian movement; and began to experiment with the sounds of zouk, ragga, R&B, and dancehall on various solo mixtapes, including 2008's Boomaz Mixtape, Vol. 1. After working with Krys and DJ Doug on the compilation 100% Zouk, he released his debut album, Au Rapport, which followed the lead of its first two singles, "Celui" and "Toutes les Nuits," by reaching the top of the French charts. ~ Jon O'Brien